U.S. Anglican Ordinariate Update: Father Scott Hurd at Houston’s Our Lady of Walsingham

Father Scott Hurd serves as the liaison with the USCCB for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Cœtibus here in America.  He has been looking at the options available to all Anglican groups in establishing a U.S. Anglican Ordinariate.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops created an ad hoc committee led by Donald Cardinal Wuerl last September that was charged with assisting the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in implementing the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Cœtibus.

Today Father Hurd concelebrated Mass at Our Lady of Walsingham (OLW) Anglican Use Church as part of his visit to Houston.  After Mass there was a tiny reception outside the church which was followed by a short talk with a question and answer period for the parishioners of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Left to Right: Deacon James Barnett, Father Bruce Noble, Father James Moore, Father Scott Hurd, and Father James Ramsey before concelebrating Mass today.

Some major points that were learned today concerning the process as to where we are in possibly establishing a U.S. Anglican Ordinariate.  Please note that none of this official.:

1.  At this point the ad hoc committee is waiting for the Vatican’s formal decision on establishing an Anglican Ordinariate.  A definitive decision by the Vatican is expected to occur.

2.  The level of interest in the United States is high in establishing an Anglican Ordinariate.  There is a “sun-belt” phenomenon as far as the level of interest and organization that is involved.  For example the southern states have shown tremendous interest in the establishment of an Anglican Ordinariate in enthusiasm and numbers which is in contrast to lower levels of interest in such parts as the Midwest and New England.

3.  If an Anglican Ordinariate is established then an announcement of an ordinary would logically follow.  This ordinary would more than likely have a very strong Anglican heritage to lead this new Ordinariate.  Father Scott Hurd has humbly denied that he is a candidate for this position if it were to occur.

4.  Outside of the United States, the possibility of establishing an Anglican Ordinariate in other regions of the world may occur in Canada and in Australia (potentially in that order).  In addition there are “rumblings’ in Africa but nothing substantive of note.

5.  Rumors of the Anglo-Lutherans are just that rumors.  At best there are informal talks between Anglo-Lutherans and unofficial elements in Washington D.C.  Please note there is no formal talks, no official standing, no official communication between the Vatican, any diocese/bishop, or national bishop’s conference.

That’s it.

Anything else that you may here from this talk in Houston, especially concerning time-lines, is pure speculation.

What we all can do at this moment for the possible establishment of an Anglican Ordinariate in the United States is to pray fervently for the best possible outcome.

Tito Edwards manages the Catholic websites, ThePulp.it and The American Catholic, for the new evangelization that Pope John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, has asked for in the third millennium.

This was cross-posted at Gulf Coast Catholic.

17 Responses to U.S. Anglican Ordinariate Update: Father Scott Hurd at Houston’s Our Lady of Walsingham

  • Yeah, the Anglo-Lutheran thing sounded a bit too silly to be true…

  • I’ve been reading materials from Anglo-Lutheran bishops that say otherwise. Who do I trust, the people themselves, or the people writing about them?

  • Hidden One,

    Because Father Scott Hurd is a representative for Cardinal Wuerl in the ad hoc committee seeking to establish an Anglican Ordinariate in the U.S.

    This ad hoc committee was established in coordination with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    All of this is official.

    What the Anglo-Lutheran bishops are saying are private matters that hold no official status within the church. They just got excited thinking one thing when in actuality it is nothing more than informal talks at best.

  • I don’t know much about the Anglo-Lutherans; however, I have seen the correspondence they have had with the CDF, and they did receive a letter from the Congregation, signed by the Secretary, Archbishop Ladaria, inviting them to contact Cardinal Wuerl. Whether the Anglo-Lutherans will have a place in the Ordinariate is, at this point, unknown; however, they did make a formal approach, and they received a formal answer with instructions about what they should do.

  • Father Phillips,

    That are the “informal” talks I was referencing to.

    What was speculated in the blogosphere was that they were officially accepted into talks of joining the Ordinariate, which is farthest from the truth.

    So says Father Scott Hurd who represents Cardinal Wuerl in the ad hoc committee created by the USCCB in implementing the apostolic constitution.

  • You’re absolutely correct, Tito. They are not part of the general conversations, nor will they have a part in the shaping of the Ordinariate. My only point was that they have been invited to make application through the Ordinariate.

    My reason for posting was that I didn’t want people to have the impression that this was something only in their imaginations. An approach was made, and a response came from the CDF, so in that sense it is “formal.”

  • Please people, let’s not get all nitpicky. Formal or informal, they seem to want to come home to Mother Church from their Lutheran tradition. Open arms should be extended. As was pointed out by their Archbishop I believe Lutherans have no distant liturgical tradition as the Anglicans do so perhaps special accommodation will be made for them through the Ordinariate or a separate way for Lutherans will be established. That’s up to the Holy Father and Rome.
    Being critical will only make them think they made an incorrect decision and drive them away.
    As has been noted, the Lutheran Churches like the Anglicans did a ‘liturgical revolution” following the Catholics and so the 3 liturgical uses became very similar for good or ill. The thing I noticed was that the Lutherans did it so much more beautifully than either the Episcopalians/Anglicans but especially the Catholics. They bring a gift of singing and chanting in English that cannot be matched by the Catholics at this time. For that reason alone they should be embraced.

  • Father Phillips,

    Sometimes when I’m blocking for Father Hurd, I bumped into you.

    I apologize if I came away a bit strong.

    Yes, there are talks.

    Just as there were talks in the past when Anglican groups approached the Holy See seeking some sort of corporate union.

    What the Anglo-Lutherans are doing is correct.

    We should pray for them so they too will find comfort in the See of Peter.

  • I scarcely felt the bump, Tito! :)

    I have no way of know who amongst the Anglo-Lutherans will be finding a place in the Ordinariate, but I’m happy to have them make their petition and then we’ll let the Holy Spirit make the decisions that need to made.

  • I’ve visited O.L. of Walsingham in Houston before and found it to be wonderful. Beautiful church and chapel, lovely and welcoming people.

  • How can a Mass be concelebrated with and held in an unconsecrated chapel that until the Ordinarite is official are not in full communion with Rome?

  • @Charles. Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston *is* in full communion with Rome. It’s an Anglican Use parish of the Roman Catholic Church. (Anglican Use parishes have been in existence for over a quarter century; however, there are only a few of them.)

  • And for whatever reason, Texas seems to be their (Anglican Use-Catholics) center. I never thought of Texas as especially Episcopalian (nearly everyone you meet is Baptist/evangelical, Methodist, or Catholic), but I suppose what Episc. population we do have is relatively orthodox/conservative.

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